Progress on the Shanti stalled out over the winter owing to the frigid conditions and a miserable lack of resources. My business suffered its first depression in five years, leaving us with a slim trickle of finances – just enough to keep us eating. I intentionally didn’t post for a while because I didn’t want to bore you with whinging or feed anyone’s schadenfreude. You’re welcome. Or ha! Depending on your perspective.

Around February, my work picked up, and now we’re back to a healthy flow of funding to sink into our hole in the water. Jack has gotten the exterior pretty nearly sealed up and repaired. He’s at least far enough along that he can turn his attention to the engine so we can get this baby gliding through the water.

The goal is still to get up the Tennessee-Tombigbee before a hurricane or tropical storm makes an appearance in the Gulf. Since neither of us has made that kind of trip before and the Shanti is untested over a long haul, I’d rather we be able to go slowly and mitigate stress-related mistakes.

Fain stayed with his Oklahoma parental units in June and then flew to North Carolina, where he’s finishing up the summer with his grandparents. As much as I miss him, the boat got very small through the brutal winter and soppy wet spring. Between a tight purse, boat stress, uncertainty, discomfort, torrential downpours, and puberty, tensions occasionally ran high. Having a break is good for everybody, and when we all get back together after a long separation, we appreciate one another more.

On a somewhat related note, I was thinking yesterday about the advantage of starting our new life in more difficult circumstances. Moving from a two-bedroom apartment on Napoleon Avenue to a 37′ boat would’ve been a difficult transition under ideal conditions. The past year has definitely not been the best case scenario, but we’re so close to leveling up. When we do, it’s going to be all the more rewarding because we’ve fought an uphill battle for it.

I tend not to get excited about something until the day of. And we’ve had so many unanticipated and entirely unpredictable delays. It’s hard to get too excited about our projected departure at the end of the month, but I am LONGING for it.

Jack and I both need the change of scenery. Being able to motor the boat to a new port will mark a new phase of our adventure, and once we’re in Tennessee, Jack can start building out the actual home part of our floating home. That’s going to be a game-changer, a real boost in morale, which has been flagging honestly.

I’m going to make a more concerted effort to post regularly as I truly hope things will begin moving faster and there will be more to tell you. Until next time, think buoyant thoughts!

P.S. If you’ve got any questions about the Shanti or special requests concerning upcoming posts, leave a note in the Comments section. Some of the things that I take for granted now, you may be curious about, and I’m always grateful for suggestions regarding what to write about. Thanks!